Susan Peirce Thompson:
Hey there, it's Susan Peirce Thompson, and welcome to the weekly vlog. So sometimes life gets really lifey. We say that a lot in Bright Line Eating. I think I started it. Most things we say around here came from other places. Wisdom passed down through generations, through 12-step meetings, through who knows where. But I think that's one I came up with. And it sure is true, isn't it? Life gets lifey sometimes, and there's levels of that. There's the stress of work being very intense, caretaking for someone who's passing or got dementia or Alzheimer's, and it's years and years of caretaking.
There's having kids who struggle in a prolonged way. There's chronic stressors like that. And then there are these things that happen in life that are just next-level kinds of stressors. I'm just going to say some things, they're traumatic even to hear them, right? They're traumatic even to hear them. So, brace yourself or don't listen if you don't want to hear it. But people experience these things, people that I know and love and have helped walk through these things - coming home to find your life partner, hanging in the garage from suicide, experiencing your child being killed brutally, being raped, and beaten in your home, and fearing for your life, and having to maybe just flee to another state or another country to be safe.
Many years ago, I experienced, after years of fertility treatments, fertility treatments, fertility treatments, fertility treatments, getting pregnant with twins, my first pregnancy ever in my mid-thirties, and going into labor four months early and being told that there was a 4% chance, a 4% chance that those twins would survive and be healthy. Waking up in the middle of the night to your home, burning up around you and escaping with your life, barely. And so many more things, right? Life dishes out major things, sometimes major, major things. And this week I'm walking with two dear people in my life. One of them I just met. One of them I just met through a fluke of social media, just they sent me a message and I happened to respond. We've been communicating. Another who's a longtime dear person in my life dealing with life situations at this level, like heavy-duty stuff.
I've been so amazed and impressed at how they're dealing with it. One of them is brand new, brand new to putting her food on the scale and not eating sugar and flour, brand new to it. Earlier this week, she didn't even want to be alive because the trauma and tragedy was just too much, and she was overtaken by a destroyer part.
I'm so thankful to Everett Considine. Everett, if you're watching, thank you so much for teaching me and our whole Bright Line Eating Community about the form of the Inner Critic Part. That's the Destroyer Part, the Part that's trying to help us by making us dead, by trying to wipe us off the face of the earth because it's concluded, maybe for good reason, that we would be safer if we were dead, that the pain would end if we were dead. That's a Destroyer Part. It's a scary, scary thing. There's also a Diminisher Part that just convinces us that it doesn't matter. I'll just make myself invisible. I'll just sink into the corner so nobody sees me, and nobody cares, and I can just die in the corner kind of an invisible, withering away kind of existence.
Those are types of Parts of us that can be really trying to help us by trying to help us get out of pain. I've been so impressed watching this new person that I've met. I adopt the orientation that if she just weighs and measures her food and eats no sugar and no flour, and exactly what she commits, that she can grow and change and survive and thrive and come to feel valuable and worthwhile and recover from the trauma and build a new life. She doesn't believe it all the time, but one meal at a time, she's coming to believe it. I'm so grateful that I can feed her the reality that it is true. It's a weird thing that it's true. It shouldn't be true. It's kind of like one plus one equals 43. It's like, well, that doesn't seem true. Why is it that for some of us, if we just weigh and measure our food and eat no sugar and no flour and keep our recovery central, that becomes the foundation of a whole new life, a whole new life?
Now, it does make a little bit of sense that giving yourself good nutrition and eating at regular intervals and not eating after dinner, so you have a healthy circadian rhythm. Now, your sleep is falling into place. Now, you've got nutrition and sleep. If you're making human connection in between, staying deeply connected in the community, that human support starts to come in and become a lifeblood of connection and not feeling lonely and isolated anymore.
Suddenly, things become possible that weren't possible. So, it kind of makes sense. But for some of us, for whom food addiction has been the beast that has ruled our lives, it is a bit like one plus one equals 43. How much? It's true that if we focus on weighing and measuring our food and not eating sugar and flour and eating only and exactly what we've committed and working our tools and staying connected and getting support and doing the next right thing, in between that, we find ourselves taking bold, brave, sane, helpful actions, and meal by meal, day by day, we are transformed. We are transformed. We get to be people we never imagined that we would be. We get to blossom into people we love and respect.
She texted me just now and she said, "I don't know if this will mean anything to you, but I just looked in the mirror and I didn't have to look away. And it was the first time I've experienced that; in I don't remember how long. I may be starting to care about myself just a little bit." What I texted back was, "Yeah, that's the path to self-esteem, doing esteemable acts, taking actions that we respect." For some of us, that starts with our food, it's inexplicable. But food is the keystone habit for some of us. It is the root structure that goes deep into the ground for us, and it becomes the foundation of everything. Every branch, every leaf, every offshoot comes from that root structure, and the trunk that grows out of it strong and wide. It's what is the foundation of our life.
When life gets lifey, I think we have two options. We can double down on our recovery, weigh and measure every bite, get extra support, lean into our Bright Lines, or we can get dominated by the Manager Parts of us, the Caretaker Parts of us that say, oh, we have this other stuff to do, life is lifey and work is stressful, and this person needs my help and my care, and I'm too busy and we can let our Lines, or, I'm too grieving. This is too hard, it's too much pain, I can't face it. We can let go of our recovery and focus on other things and numb ourselves with food against the pain or stay so busy with other things and not prioritize our recovery so that we lose our Bright Lines and it all just gets slippery. Suddenly we're not getting proper nutrition, we're not getting proper sleep, we're not staying deeply supported and connected. We're not making as good decisions. The life getting lifey can just be a sinkhole of infinite proportions, where if we're not showing up as our best, life just gets lifier.
So, I'm here to say that we really have two options. When life gets lifey, we can double down on our recovery and lean into our Bright Lines and drop those roots deeper and stronger into the ground around. Or we can get blended and carried away with those Parts that say, I can't prioritize my recovery now. I got all this life going on, all this trauma, all this pain, all these things I need to be doing. All these people, I need to be supporting all this stuff happening around me, and I'm going to focus on that instead and get caught up in that swirl.
Whether it's a small swirl or the biggest swirl imaginable, tragedy of unlanguageable proportions, just horrific, horrific tragedy. Either way, we can use it as the reason to take us right out. If I look at the proportions of just what I've seen and witnessed and experienced, I don't think the percentages honestly are that different between the percentage of people who are able to stay firm with their Bright Lines and lean into their Lines, lean into their recovery and stay true to their recovery when the most horrific tragedies strike versus when it's just a more kind of everyday occurrence of stressful work, a fight with the spouse, life getting lifey in the more common ways.
I think I see people equally likely to get carried away from their Bright Lines when it's actually just a minor, more minor. I mean, when life is hard, it feels hard. It doesn't feel minor, it feels frickin? hard, right? But I mentioned some things at the beginning of this vlog and things that a lot of us would go, "Yeah, thank God. That's not my reality today, thank God." And I see people including myself back in 2008 with my twins in the hospital, right? David and I walked through that one breath at a time, and I weighed and measured every bite and didn't break my Lines for years.
I was perfectly Bright all through that because it felt like the only thing I could control. It was what I had to do that I could control. And so I think that's why for some folks in the unlanguageable tragedy category, walking through that kind of hard stuff, they are grateful often for the roots and the firm tree trunk of just knowing that no matter what, they can weigh and measure every bite and stay true to themselves and stay true to their recovery and eat all their food, and only in exactly that, and nourish themselves with abundant, healthy, delicious, Bright food and stay connected to their support network.
It's beautiful and inspiring to watch people pick that path. There's two paths, folks. Life is going to get lifey for everyone to varying degrees. It seems to me that it's a weird thing that everybody seems like they get more than their fair share of hardship in this life. I don't know how that adds up, but it does seem like that to me. Everybody gets more than their fair share of hardship in this life. What are you going to do when life gets lifey? Are you going to double down on your health, your wellness, your vitality, your Bright Lines, and handle the things that are within your control? Or are you going to get spun out by the lifiness of it all, which then becomes never ending, and just let self-care go by the wayside and spin like a top and wait until the next opportunity to Rezoom?? Your call. Your call.
That's the weekly vlog. I'll see you next week.